In a paper entitled “3D Printing of PLA/clay Nanocomposites: Influence of Printing Temperature on Printed Samples Properties,” a group of researchers investigate the possibility of using a layered silicate-reinforced PLA in 3D printing applications. In particular, they examine the influence of printing temperature in 3D printing clay/PLA nanocomposites.
The researchers 3D printed dog-bone-shaped and prismatic specimens using FDM 3D printing at three different temperatures, which were progressively increased from the melting temperature (185–200–215 °C for PLA 4032D and 165–180–195 °C for PLA 2003D). The PLA and PLA/clay specimens were characterized using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and tensile tests.
In addition to the increase of elastic modulus with the increase of printing temperature, the researchers found that the properties of 3D printed samples were strongly influenced by the different polymer matrix and nano composite morphology.The difference of the macromolecular structure of the two substrates affects the orientation of the polymer.The printing temperature also has an influence on the transparency of 3D printed samples. The higher the printing temperature, the higher the transparency.